Got Some Running Advice?

I’ve been seeing a special ladyfriend lately. But I haven’t met her parents yet. The other day, we had a conversation that went something like this…

Her: I’m running a 5K on Sunday!

Me: Sweet! I’ll be there on the sidelines to support you.

Her: With signs?

Me: With signs. [Scribbles: "Congratulations! You just finished a 5K! No wait, you still have 1.5 miles to go."]

Her: Hmph. Oh! And my parents are coming, too!

Me: So the first time I meet them, you’re not even around…? Awkward.

Her: It won’t be too bad, I promise. Or you can just wear a superhero costume so they don’t see you.

Me: … Or I could run the 5K with you and avoid that whole situation.

Her: Right… do you even know how to run?

Me: I coach Speech Team and write a blog.

Her: Umm… I think that means you’re gonna die.

So I signed up for the Bucktown 5K on Sunday.

There’s no Couch to 5k plan that works in two days, right?

Any advice on how I can avoid a hospital stay would be appreciated :)

Side note: The registration asked me how fast I run a mile so they can start me in a pack of people my own speed. I think I just signed up with the senior citizens. Oh boy.

  • Tony

    Take your time… but if you’re not active then you’re going to have trouble. Three miles is a long way if you’re not conditioned.

  • Kate

    Soooo, in two days:

    1) Yes, start in the BACK of the pack. Reduces the likelihood that you’ll get run over by faster people.

    2) DON’T go out to fast – resist the urge! Start slower, and you’ll be able to pass people near the end.

    3) Don’t feel bad when senior citizens, people with strollers, and little kids blow right past you. I’ve had my ass kicked in races by people in all those categories.

    4) If you come in last, no one shoots you. Just wear a t-shirt that says “I’m faster than anyone on a couch today!”

    5) Don’t eat any fiber the morning of the race. ;)

    Good luck!

  • ollie

    Kate gives good advice. Start in the back, and I’d recommend doing a “run/walk” for your first one; jog a couple of minutes, walk one, and repeat until you are done. Prior to taking your walking break, make sure that you don’t come to a complete stop right in front of someone. :)

    Or, if the time limit of the race is long enough, just walk the whole thing. Walking doesn’t have to be super slow; I’ve walked one in 30:50 this year (but I’ve been walking a long time). 45 minutes would be a good walking goal for someone your age doing it the first time.

  • Steve

    Slow and steady survives the race! :-)

    Not sure where you are, but hopefully the weather is mild (cool, not cold, and low humidity). There will be drink stations at 1 and 2 miles and you should enjoy them both. :-)

    If you enjoy it, the C25K programs are great!

    Try to enjoy yourself. These events are a LOT of fun!

  • todwith1d

    Speech Team/Blogger Couch to 5K Plan:

    Friday:
    1. no excessive talking or typing
    2. eat carbs starting now

    Saturday
    1. warm up WELL
    2. visualize headline “God smites Atheist with groin pull in Bucktown 5K”
    3. Run your guts out

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney

    Walk it. Loads of people walk 5ks 10ks, even marathons. (Don’t forget the water – and stretch AFTER the race or you will die the next day).

    Remember, it not the winning but the taking part that counts….

    And of course the fund raising if it’s for charity (I’ll give you $10).

  • http://arik.baratz.org Arik

    Stay hydrated. Have an isotonic drink after, just in case.

  • KM

    1) run slowly. best speed is the one that allows you to chat with the lady
    2) when you feel exhausted switch to fast walking until you can breathe again. Then run again

  • elianara

    Some tips:

    Start easy, you are in no hurry, you can always increase your pace later on in the race, if you feel like it.

    You are allowed to walk. An inexperienced runner might feel better with running in intervals; jog for 2 mintues – walk 1 min, or jog for 5 min – walk for 3 min. Also remember to warm up your muscles well before start.

    Have good already run in shoes, not totally new ones or you get chafed feet.

    It is better to have too many layers of clothing on when you start, and take something off when you get warm, than to have too little and freeze while running.

    Take a bottle of water with you.

    I prefer to take my mp3 player with me, that way I can ignore those around me, and focus on myself more easily.

  • http://denkeensechtna.blogspot.com Deen

    So your literally running in fear of meeting her parents? ;)

    Do you have proper running shoes? If not, you probably won’t have time to properly break new shoes in, so they will likely kill your feet. Just pick your most comfy pair of sneakers.

    Most important advice I can give you: Don’t forget warm-up and stretching.

    If you get side stitches, it often helps to slow down and take deeper and longer breaths.

    Good luck :)

  • Sean

    A fake limp – trip over someone when you get tired and heroically make it to the finish line at whatever pace your ‘injuries/pride’ allow.

    It’s win win, your lady friend will be all gushy and her parents will admire your fortitude.

  • Kahomono

    I agree with David Mc. Walk it as fast as you can remain comfortable. You will finish in about 40 minutes and be fine. She’ll finish 15-20 minutes before you and have time to warm up the ‘rents. :)

    Wear awesome shoes and thick socks. Tie your shoes tightly. Before you go put a wide strip of athletic tape over that spot at the top of the back of your heel just below where your Achilles tendon joins, or you may blister there.

    Drink water and G2

  • happycynic

    sheesh, no 5K advice from me. Running makes me nauseous. Nope, I’m speaking up because when I read that Hemant had a special-lady-friend I was like, “Holy Crap! Hemant has a special lady friend!” and wanted to say congratulations.

    So, “Congratulations!”

  • Shawn

    Not running advice, but dating advice. Make sure you publicly state somewhere that you’d rather run 5 miles than spend time with her parents. That will go over well. Maybe do it on some kind of medium where you can be assured it will never, ever be forgotten, and that it’s intimately linked with your name.
    :)

  • Drew

    Personally, I’d skip the 5k and just stand on the other side of the street and meet the parents after she’s done.

    Better to meet them after the race than in the hospital as you’re being admitted for a cardiac event.

  • http://theehtheist.blogspot.com The “Eh” theist

    I haven’t done a 5k in a while, but everyone seems spot on in saying it should take about 45 minutes to walk-of course if you try to crush the course with a speedy run it may take you 1:15:00.

    Best to try and jog it at a moderate but steady pace-if you find you have lots of energy at the end you can always speed up then and finish strong, telling her folks you got bad pacing advice from Internet atheists. :)

    The water suggestion is good as well so long as you keep your bathroom habits in mind. Likewise a good pair of undies makes a huge difference if you aren’t used to running-you can avoid both chafing and any unpleasant “bungee cord” sensations.

    Again, remember that you want to be able to talk comfortably with everyone at the end of it, so pace yourself accordingly-better to be thought of as “super smart and less athletic” than “the guy who finished the race and threw up on Dad’s shoes”.

  • Kaylya

    Go out today if you can (if you can’t today, probably best not to on Saturday) and walk for 3-5 minutes as a warmup, then run 1 minute / walk 1 minute for about 20 minutes, then cooldown with another few minutes of walking. If the 1 minute intervals feels really easy, perhaps bump it up to 2/1. Then do about the same on Sunday, perhaps bump up the running a bit if you feel good.

    Do NOT attempt to run the whole 5k if you have no base of running (unless maybe you’ve been doing a lot of a running sport e.g. Soccer, Ultimate). And it’s better to take the walk break *before* you feel exhausted. You’ll actually most likely finish faster by taking them, and you reduce the risk of injuring yourself.

  • Mr Ed

    Rule of thumb for race timers is that a 5k takes 1 hour so you have plenty of time.

    Now here is some advice the other forgot. I hated running but it was the only way to lose weight. So after a bit of running just for health someone convinced me to enter a 5k. Ten years later I plan my year around races and keep trying races of sillier and sillier lengths. So just be careful this can be habit forming.

  • http://say-it-fast-jokes.info/ Japanther

    Seriously, just don’t burn out your energy in the beginning. Don’t try to keep up with her. Just go slow. Imagine it as a 5k jog.
    Remember, you’ll have to be somewhat presentable at the end anyway.

  • http://chunkymonkeymind.blogspot.com/ Palaverer

    Something similar happened with my boyfriend, minus the running (that’s like that thing you do with your legs when you want to get to the fridge, but really fast, right?)

    I was invited to a birthday party at his parents house, but I didn’t want to meet them when a whole bunch of people were there. So the day before, his mom went out to lunch with the two of us. Can you arrange a meeting with them first?

  • l.vellenga

    and drink lots the day after the race. that will help all of the broken-down muscle fibers in your legs to recover. what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. :D

  • TXatheist

    400 mg of motrin will be your best friend. In the Navy I walked on a lightly sprained ankle thanks to 800 mg of motrin.

  • donK

    My 8 year old daughter and I ran, walked mostly, a 5k this past spring. We got matching tee shirts and she got a medal to show her friends at school. Have fun, it won’t take long, even if you walk the whole thing.

  • http://biaholmes.wordpress.com/ Bia

    Don’t drink/eat a lot right before the race, even if it’s just water. Anything sloshing around in there might give you ahem, indigestion. Just have as close to normal breakfast as possible (unless it’s a ton of bacon and sausage and eggs or something) at least an hour before start so it has time to settle.

    For the running, try to go slower than you think you need to. If you’re feeling good, don’t get excited…take it down a notch and run without pushing yourself. When you’re five minutes past the two mile mark, go for the gold!

  • allison

    I would go with the advice to walk most of it and run some of it. Walking 5K is totally manageable, and as others have mentioned that should take about 40-45 minutes. Stretch well before, and definitely take advantage of the water stations. Remember that you’re faster than you would be if you were sitting or standing on the sidelines.

    And then…start training a bit for the next time you decide to race. I bet your lady friend would be happy to give you a little advice and help you get started. ;)

  • judashpriest

    A wise dwarf once said:

    “The key is to keep breathing.”

    I would concur.

    Have fun!

  • Claudia

    I’m not shocked you haven’t met her parents, but I’m deeply offended you haven’t introduced your special ladyfriend to us *sniffs loudly*.

    Snarking aside I find it hilarious that you’d rather kill yourself running than meet her parents on your own, though I can’t promise I wouldn’t do the same thing. Take it slow and come back alive, I really don’t feel like having to find a new blog-home ;-)

    Oh and congrats *^_^*

  • Sven

    So…. a special ladyfriend huh? If you run faster than her, you can shoot her at the finish and post her picture. And give her flowers!

  • ACN

    I agree with everyone else about the walking.

    Unless you run regularly, don’t try to be a hero, just think of it as an occasion to get in a brisk walk with a lot of people who appreciate physical activity, and hopefully some pleasant weather to boot.

    I like Kate’s “I’m faster than anyone on a couch today!” t-shirt. If that is an option, you should totally do that and take a picture!

  • muggle

    I’ve been seeing a special ladyfriend lately.

    Does this mean my daughter’s SOL? Do tell us more.

    Um, I’m thinking you might want to rethink your strategy and man up, meet her parents on the sidelines awkward or not. Impression made with small awkward silence before you’re all three too busy rooting for her much better impression than making a fool out of one’s self macho tripping to avoid.

    I hope that wasn’t too blunt — not really. Man up already and dive in to the parents while you have the ready made conversation starter of the race and their daughter’s part in it. Gotta say if my daughter (fat chance in hell) were running and her boyfriend wasn’t a runner, I’d be much more impressed with him chatting to me on the sidelines even if we were both shy and uneasy at first than I would be if he ran the race far behind her, obviously new and fared badly making it rather obvious that he was nervously avoiding me. I’d be thinking, geeze, I don’t bite so don’t kill yourself to avoid me.

    I really think you’d get off on a much better foot with them if you just abandon the running plan, screw up your courage and deal with the parents.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    This seems like an excellent opportunity to study the efficacy of prayer. All us atheists and agnostics should pray sincerely for Hemant to finish the race. If he is successful or not we will then have a data point for additional study.

  • http://bybrea.com breamarie

    Breathe deeply and often. In your nose and out your mouth… if you breathe in and out of your mouth you’ll dry out your throat and that’s awful.

    Don’t be afraid to walk/run. When I run outside I rarely ever run a mile without a walking stint in the middle… and I still make an 8:30 mile pace. Give yourself time to recover.

    Have fun :)

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com CycleNinja

    Hemant, I’m doing the Des Moines Half-Marathon in October. My advice: Wear familiar shoes. It’ll help you avoid blisters. Take your time, walk if you have to.

  • Tyro

    D’oh, misread that. 2 days huh? Well, best advice is to take it slow, start at the back, and do a run-walk cycle where you jog 3 mins and walk 1. Monitor your breathing so you inhale for 3 beats (each beat a foot-stroke) and exhaling for 2. Better start doing 4-3 or 3-3 so you can deteriorate towards the end.

    If you do that, you’ll stay relaxed and comfortable and should make it to the end without puking, whining or calling an ambulance – key factors in impressing the chicks.

    Good luck.

  • Nikki

    DO NOT TRY TO RUN. Seriously. You can really hurt yourself. If it takes you an hour to WALK the 3.1 miles, that’s ok! DO NOT try to do it in ANY sort of time frame. Just finish without getting injured. If the choices are to get hurt or to stop, then STOP.

    Wear your most comfortable walking sneakers, and just walk. Oh, and drink some water before, during, and after.

  • http://s2solutions.us/wordpress Seth Strong

    I supported a half marathon. In this support the runner left her ipod and I had to meet her during the run for the hand off. At that point I was a mile away from where I needed to be so I just ran with her for that distance.

    You are talking about 3 times that distance but it’s manageable. I have jogged 3 miles without any preparation and that’s what you’re going to experience. You’ve got the carb advice, the water advice is real. You need to have been drinking enough water at least a day in advance.

    Prejudging you based on your build, I don’t think you have much to worry about. Try to keep pace with someone. Count your steps or listen to music to keep in pace. You’ll want to breath on opposite legs so that you don’t feel all crampy in just one side because you always breath on your left step for example. That’s easy, just count in 3s.

    Wear comfortable shoes. And give your body time to start, get tired, and then generate its real distance capable energy on the other side. You’ll probably remember the feeling from something athletic you’ve done in the past.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Don’t try to keep up with the girls running near by you… No matter how cute they are.

    Just run/job/walk at your own pace.

  • Neuenschwander

    I’ve done the couch to 5k a few times. I used to run cross and track in high school.

    Take it easy, and don’t be too proud to walk or quit. You CAN be fairly seriously injured!

    I gained about 20lbs these last two years of inactivity. I figured it would slow me down, but didn’t really think about it seriously. I’m only 170/5’10″. When I ran a 5k this spring, I did some serious damage to the plantar ligaments on the bottom of my feet. Plantar Fasciitis was probably the most painful and sustained running injury I have ever experienced. I could barely walk most mornings, and I couldn’t climb stairs without help for almost a month.

    Had I taken it easy on that morning, I may have gotten back into running instead of limping around all summer long.

  • sailor

    Some of those seniors are going to leave you in the dust.

  • Thegoodman

    I can help!

    I am 5’8″, 160lbs, relatively fit and I played college football….5yrs ago. I have lead a very sedentary lifestyle since then. I did finish P90X about 8 months ago but have since lost all of that “fitness”.

    I got into a similar situation where I had to run a 5K last weekend w/o any training or preparation. Because I am a 27 yr old, a former athlete, and somewhat competitive, I didn’t want to simply walk with the grandmas, so here are my tips.

    1. Dress appropriately – This may seem understood, but not only did I get roped into a 5k, I was wearing khaki shorts, boxers, and a belt. The right clothing can help a lot.

    2. Stay very well hydrated. Since you are out of shape and not accustomed to running, it will be painful and taxing.

    3. Start in front of the walkers but behind the runners, set a slow pace and keep track of how far you are. When you walk, make sure you do it when you can recovery quickly (i.e. walk before you feel like you want to die, and run as soon after stopping).

    4. Prepare appropriately the night before and the day of. The day before carb load and the day of stick to high energy foods.

    5. Don’t over stretch. Keep your stretching light and movement oriented, 15 mins of butterflies isn’t going to help you.

    BTW, I finished in 37 mins and was embarrassed. Good Luck!

  • 10plus

    Hemant, listen close- very important– for the parts of the 5k that you do run/jog- don’t land on your heels like most folks do. The impact will be very jarring to your joints and bones. Land on the middle part of your foot/forefoot area. I had given up running a year and a half ago because I was always too sore/weak the day after a run, even though I’d never gone more than 5 miles at most, and on average, had only done about 2 1/2 per run. Then I learned about forefoot landings and started up again in the early Spring after having not run all winter (though I hit the exercise bike at the gym). Within two months I did a 10 mile jog, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. I’ll never heel-strike again, and now running is more enjoyable for me than ever! Good luck (with the 5k and the ladyfriend)!

  • Truckle

    This is the exact same situation I met my (now fiancees) parents!

    She however was running the race for life which is a 5k raising money for cancer, but it a womens only race… so I didn’t have the “join in” escape option, I had to have the first meeting on the sidelines of a race!

    Consequently I have no advice except, one foot in front of the other and breath… lots. (I think Richard Wades job is safe!)

  • Cole11

    Chicago Athiests Running Club anyone?

    You’ve got some great advice above already. I would echo the comments on having the right running shoes and taking it easy, run/walk. I would also say don’t start too fast. With that many people your adrenaline will be pumping and you will want to start off harder than you should. Better to start off a little easier so the rest of the race is more enjoyable.

    As for the shoes, I would recommend getting a pair of new real running shoes. They will seriously reduce the impact that your joints and shins take compared to a pair of street shoes. If you do this, get them ASAP and then walk around in them for the rest of today and tomorrow to break them in as much as possible. This will help avoid blisters, as will comfortable socks, or even two pairs of thin socks. Try Fleet Feet if you have the time. They will take the time to fit you in the right shoes. And you don’t have to spend too much. Expensive shoes just have sturdier cushioning and will last a little longer.

    And most of all enjoy! It should be a great day for a run!

  • Leni

    You’re fucked! Just jog-walk it. Wear your gym outfit with athletic sneakers that aren’t too old, don’t eat too much or anything fatty beforehand, drink water, get yourself to a slow starting pen, and don’t start off too fast.

    But you should keep running. Running is the best! It really doesn’t take that long to become pretty good at it.

  • Ms. Crazy Pants

    Be prepared for recovery after the run. You will need additional protein, lots of stretching while still warm when done, and I highly recommend soaking in a jacuzzi if you can get to one. If you don’t you may find yourself having to use the handicap bathroom stall for the next week.

    Before running, make sure you eat properly about 1.5 hours before the run. Some people use special sports drinks, but I find oatmeal and a banana to be my best sports fuel. I know, it’s got fiber that someone else didn’t recommend, but my problem with sports is running out of energy, so that ends up being my focus.

    My running co-workers start eating pasta about 2 days before a race, because they say the way it’s stored makes it easily accessed within a day or two.

    I’m not an athlete, and I can’t do a run without some sort of prior preparation, but when I don’t feel miserable afterward, I find I’m more likely to do it again. If I feel like I’m going to fall over dead the week after a run, then I suddenly fall off my running commitment.

  • Michelle

    Good shoes and great socks, if your feet are comfortable that will go a long way to making it better and prevent injury.

  • Sarah

    I agree with Muggle!

    It is good when someone’s SO is out rooting for her (with signs!!!) in an event, it makes a good impression on the parents. It might be awkward for first meeting but keep in mind you and the parents are there to root for Ladyfriend which means YOU support her and what she does and the parentals will most likely have a favorable view of this. Trying to avoid a potentially awkward situation by running a race in which you will finish far behind Ladyfriend and you might (ok, probably) get hurt in the process is…well…it has far more potential to be awkward.

    You are better off making a goal of training for a 5k for a future event if it is something lucky Ladyfriend does often. You probably won’t get injured, you will know how to handle the race, and the parentals can hold signs up for you both.

  • Elena Villarreal

    This is terrible advice:

    400 mg of motrin will be your best friend. In the Navy I walked on a lightly sprained ankle thanks to 800 mg of motrin.

    If it hurts, you need to know before you injure yourself. I’ve ignored running pain before, and I ended up limping for weeks.

  • LaurenF

    Kate’s absolutely right on her #4. :) You won’t even need to wear the shirt, really. Runners are a supportive bunch, and if you do come in last probably the first words you hear will be “Hey, don’t forget you beat all those people who stayed home today!”

    Also – holy cats that’s a big crowd! Nearly 4000 finishers at last year’s event?? I don’t think you have to worry about coming in last. Just do like everybody’s been saying, don’t push yourself overhard, and you’ll be fine.

  • JB Tait

    Take a whole pack of bandaids, maybe some artificial skin, and a change of socks. Having water, pain relievers, and Red Bull with you might be handy too.

    Walk the whole thing. You can probably get a better time by taking long strides at a walking pace than by wearing yourself out jogging. If you have anything left near the end, then consider jogging.

    You can walk surprisingly quickly by leaning back a bit, throwing your foot forward aggressively, and stepping out.

  • JB Tait

    And it might be prudent to take a rolled up sign along, so if you have to quit you can go back to Plan A.

  • John Locke

    Don’t underestimate senior citizens. Many of them are retired. Meaning they can run as often as they like. I have met senior citizens who blow away most of the younger folks at these things.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney
  • Too Ashamed To Leave a Name

    I did a 5K without training once…and maybe, like me, you’ll have a nice police officer who’s following the last runner (me) offer to covertly give you a ride in his squad for a while. (Yeah, that really happened).

  • Your Ladyfriend’s sister

    My running advice:
    It’s not about how fast you finish it about how awesome you look while doing it. No one will ever know you can’t run if you show up with $1000 plus dollars of running gear. They’ll all be lost in the glory of your waistband water-bottle set, short-shorts, and running stilts (which can be purchased here: http://www.air-trekkers.com/) to ever realize you’ve been out of breath since a minute into it.

    My meeting our parents advice:
    Follow instructions above. Nothing impresses parents like a snazzy dresser.

  • Unholy Holly

    Hurry out to the running store and get some fancy running shoes ($200). Get a snazzy ‘professional’ running outfit with a reversible matching jacket ($250). Wash & dry the shoes and outfit 5 times in the washing machine. Borrow a friend’s car ($25) and park it 1/2 mile from the starting line on Saturday. On race day if the pack is big enough, you will not be able to start jogging until the first 1/4 mile. You will probably reach the parked car after only 1/4 mile of jogging. Whip your jacket off, turn it to the other side, cover your number, and find the car. Go have a triple venti mocha java frappe and wait 20 minutes ($7.50). Drive to the finish line, uncover your number and sneak back onto the course. Impressing your ladyfriend’s parents: priceless.

  • Gabriel

    It’s a 5K not an ultra-marathon across Death Valley in the summer. Don’t worry about it. Pay attention to what you body is telling you and you will be fine. 3 miles isn’t that far. You are young and from your pics don’t appear to be enormously overweight. You never mention smoking or drinking. You don’t need to worry about hydration or stretching. Run when you feel like it walk when you feel like it. Let your lady run at her pace and the two of you can hook up at the end of the run. Don’t over think this.

  • Jason

    Yup, Kate advice is pretty awesome

    may i add, if your going to run, get some good running shoe and don’t be a shame if you have to stop and walk for couple seconds to catch your breath

  • Joe_No_Halo

    Start slow and taper off.

    Smile and wave to those rooting on the sidelines.

    Save the biggest smile for when you cross the finish line and see your ladyfriend.

    DO NOT say “I can’t wait for [ladyfriend's name] to give me a massage” in front of her parents.

    Good luck, Hemant! Hope this is a “winning” day for you!

  • Jim

    For the love of FSM, do not wear boxer shorts if you plan to jog even a small part of the race. Also, a 5k in my neighborhood? I may have to get in on this.

  • Jude

    Wear *good* shoes. Stretch as you need to any time something starts to hurt. Walk if you need to. Keep drinking. Eat modestly, but eat if your energy flags. Finish the race. 5k is nothing–have fun. The important thing is to take whatever level of fitness you’ve achieved, ignore minor injuries such as blisters, and get back out there the next day to at least walk again.

  • JB Tait

    It might also be prudent to NOT practice. A blister today could be agony by Sunday.

    If you make yourself sore, you don’t have time to recover and the amount you will improve by practice is likely to be small.

    I am reminded of the joke about the favorite in the eating contest who came last that day.

    “What happened?”
    “I don’t know. I did great in rehearsal.”

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    Is gambling allowed? Can we figure out the odds of:

    Hemant finishing in under 25 mins.
    ..under 40 mins.
    ..under 50 mins.
    Hemant crawling across finish line.
    Hemant finishing.
    Hemant leaving the course in an ambulance.
    Hemant’s boss seeing this post and saying “Hay, we have a new cross country coach!”

    I tried running a short race with little training once

  • Richard P.

    Get a cold.

  • Jeromy

    You could just suck it up and meet the parents.

  • Sven

    Wow! Lots of great and funny advice here! What a profitable post!

    One request, if you do cramp up or get a bad blister, don’t make any God-related exclamatory remarks. I’d hate for them to appear on YouTube!

    Just kidding and good luck! Enjoy! I do my best thinking while out on a jog.

  • Will

    Hydrate, but not too much. Don’t sprint, just jog at a reasonable pace. Three miles is pretty fearsome if you’re TIMED and haven’t done any prep, but if it’s your own pace you can jog at just faster than a walk and you should be fine.

  • stephanie

    Ok, everyone else is going for the during advice, so I’ll leave it with even if you walk it, you’re still not on the sidelines wondering what to say to her parents… so there’s that.

    The next day you will be sore.
    The day after that, you will probably feel like someone took a Louisville slugger to you. That’s DOMS. (delayed onset muscle soreness) Ibuprofen and topical creams with salicylic acid should help. And remember not to whine or your girlfriend will make fun of you. ;)

  • darlene

    Walk. Just walk. A brisk walk will have you finish in about 45 minutes.

    Or tape up a leg and walk, and keep muttering something about coming back from an injury :)Then you look heroic!

  • Richard Wade

    Hemant, what the heck is the matter with you?

    She’s a special ladyfriend and you have this ideal opportunity to impress her parents, by meeting them on the sidelines and cheering their daughter along with a really clever sign. While you all wait, looking for her, you’ll have a nice amount of time to charm them with the excellent ability that you have, conversation, instead of making a fool of yourself and possibly injuring yourself by trying an ability at which you definitely do not excell, running.

    Imagine the scene: She’s finished the run an hour before you and she’s waiting with her parents, reassuring them that you’ll be along any minute, while she’s secretly worried that you either dropped out completely or are in the hospital. Her parents keep up an encouraging front for her sake, but they’re also wondering what kind of goofball would do a 5-K run with no practice or experience at all, and make them all wait so long for a first meeting. You finally come limping along, dragging one dead leg like Boris Karloff in “The Mummy,” covered with sweat, pale even with your skin, and so out of breath that you can barely say “hi” to her and her parents. The meeting is wisely cut very short by the dad saying “Well you two must be very tired, so we’ll be seeing you sometime. Uh, nice to meet you, Helmut.”

    Great first impression.

    Get over your anxiety and do what you do so well, meet people and effortlessly get them to like you.

  • http://www.hellasound.com John at Hella Sound

    congratulations on signing up! Running races is really a lot of fun—it’s a whole event, and is a great social opportunity.

    Since you don’t run, and you know you’re not ready for this, don’t be afraid to walk when you need to. Trust me, there will be plenty of other folks walking—there always are at races.

    Like others have said, take your time, run when you feel like you can, and don’t push yourself too hard.

    Start in the back of the pack to stay out of people’s way, and if you are going to walk, head over to the right side of the course. This makes it easier for faster folks to pass you on the left, and avoids conflict. It’s a race etiquette thing.

    Have a great time!

  • Moky

    Damn, we’re one day apart. I’m walking in the AIDs walk tomorrow, I would’ve liked to meet you.

  • Dave

    I agree with Gabriel

    Ignore all the above advice about stretching, diet, hydration, breathing etc. That is all for more advanced runners (ie someone who has done a week’s training or more!) and/or longer distances. And even then, for instance, with respect to stretching I run half marathons, rarely stretch, and have never had an injury.

    The best advice is oft repeated above – walk. Most people can walk 5ks, in fact you probably do walk about 5ks every day just in normal activity.

  • Multita

    Too bad you’re an atheist. That means in more ways than one, you don’t have a prayer.

  • Sue

    Have you forgotten that you are friendly? And all of you think your special ladyfriend is pretty awesome, natural converstation starter.

  • http://littlelioness.net Fiona

    Hehe it’ll be FINE. At worst, you’ll have to walk part of it.

  • J

    I will admit to not having read every word everyone said (so someone could have already mentioned these items):
    – Maybe you should use something to prevent chafing, wherever something could rub – feet against socks, and, well…other places.
    – You might want to wear a shirt after all – you might need a place to pin a runner’s (or walker’s) number to, and your skin would be too painful ;)

  • http://blaghag.blogspot.com/ Jennifurret

    I’ll make sure your funeral doesn’t have any religious connotations.

    Oh, what guys will do for women… ;)

  • Joseph R.

    Wear shoes that fit properly. All running shoes are not created equal. My feet can vouch for this. Also, band-aids over your nipples can save the day as well. My nipples can vouch for this little nugget of wisdom.

  • eyesWIDEopen

    Just let us know what hospital to send the flowers and cards to. Hopefully they’ll let you blog from the ICU.

  • muggle

    lol, once again Richard Wade said it better than I did.

    For the love of self, Hemant, abandon this crazy plan and meet the parents. Yes, without her. They ain’t exactly going to hate someone rooting for their daughter!

  • Daryl

    Agree with Joseph on the nipple front, although I tend to go for Vaseline. Greased nipples are a priority :). Although for 3 miles it shouldn’t be a problem.

    As there’s so much good advice here, I thought I’d give you some bad:

    1. The night before, try getting as little sleep as possible. Oddly, this should give you more energy. Counter intuitive, but clever.

    2. Wear loose fitting shorts and no underpants.

    3. Drink a bottle of whiskey an hour before the race.

    4. Try running the race whilst holding your breath.

    5. Scream unintelligible obscenities as you run along. This will put your fellow competitors at ease.

    6. When you finish, pretend that you have won and treat everyone else as your inferior.

    7. Defecate on the road in view of everyone, including small children. Quote the Bible, and then leave.

  • Gilraen

    Meet her parents, instead, Hemant. Listen to Richard, please.

    One of the best things you can do for your lady friend is support her (not necessarily join her) in the things she likes to do.

    Emotional support is a priceless gift. Use it for the good of all of you.

  • Clint B

    Hemant,

    Just found your time posted online. Congratulations on finishing your first 5k!

    I also ran my first 5k this weekend and took advice from several of the comments here. Thanks everyone.

  • Euan

    I know this is a little late but I’ve a feeling what I say may be of interest as it has parallels with the god delusion, indoctrination etc.

    You’re in a similar position to me in that you’re not a regular runner, however I used to run daily. I have never run without carrying some sort of niggle, despite sticking to the paradigm that one must have the correct running shoes to run with no injury. For well over 10 years I ran regularly but never attained the holy grail of a pair of shoes that would allow me to run without joint pain. Up until three months ago, I hadn’t run in over five years.

    About six months ago I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougal. It changed the way I look at running completely. I now use Vibram FiveFingers as I’m too lazy to go the whole hog and ditch shoes all together. If nothing else, it’s a very entertaining and enlightening read, highly recommended.

    These days I run once or twice a week in Fivefingers, I never have joint pain but there’s *good* muscle aches: the sort of aches that mean that you’re growing muscles.

    Your special lady friend will probably react in horror to this advice but everyone I know who’s `de-converted’ from the cult of the running shoe is running pain free. Maybe not as fast as with shoes but how important is that really?

  • http://life-of-an-average-runner.blogspot.com/ Luke J.

    You’ll be fine. Just BE SURE to drink enough water! If you end up liking running visit my blog! My most recent post is actually about runners and hydration.

    My Blog

    Or even if you don’t like it, it never hurts to sound “in the know” to a lady friend!


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